Words by: Mikey Fresh
Memphis is a small town known for the best southern barbeque and the finest Blues and Jazz music ever created. It has taken the general public more then 15 years to finally recognize the city as a powerhouse for churning out incredible Hip-Hop artists. Kia Shine is one of those talents; visibly one of the most promising and skilled rapper/producers to rise above the Mason Dixon Line. While on a promotional run through New York City, Universal/Motown held a meet and greet for the rising star. Kia was in full force with no security and all his diamonds in plain view taking in the out-of-town love as well as showing everybody some old fashioned Southern Hospitality.
His latest single “Krispy” features production from Play & Skillz with heavy 808’s and a swagger-heavy assault of smooth verses, “ I ain’t a trapper rapper/ still a G from the hood,” sums up the mentality and style of Kia Shine. The rapper has learned some of the harsh realities of the music biz - “ I came into the game as a CEO, putting out artists like Yo Gotti and Skinny Pimp, etc. etc and got a distribution deal through TVT, sold 100,000-200,000 units independently and didn’t see one dolllar,” explained Kia. After playing the background and handling the business side and marketing for his artists, Kia was left broke and looking for a way to get back to making music and getting the proper money for his work. “I started selling beats after doing some work with my lil’ brother who was rapping and putting an album together,” said Kia. Slowly things changed though and after a meeting in L.A. with Manny Edwards of Universal Music, he was secured a lucrative publishing deal. “I dropped my first single “Respect My Fresh” and everything just blew up organically, I grinded it out.” Kia took the opportunity to cross promote himself and his production abilities through DVDs that were included in artists albums, like Skinny Pimp.
The work ethic and hustle behind Kia’s rising success may be his most valuable asset. He contests that he won’t stop working until he feels the track is just right, no matter who he’s working with, “when I’m working with other producers I ain’t finna pick the first beat, Me and Mannie Fresh went through 100 beats!!!” Considering Kia has already been up and down the ladder of success, the future doesn’t worry him. “I used to be homeless, God is blessing me. He’s controlling my destiny that’s why I’m calling my album Due Season. The blessings come from God. I came from nothing, then I was doing well, and lost everything – it made me humble.” Words spoken like a true disciple and soon the work of the southern disciple will be available to all, “The album June 19th- Due Season. Pray for me and stay for me !!!”